All About Spike - Plain Version
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Chapter: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15
PAIRING: Spike/Willow. Spike/Buffy, Spike/Tara implied
RATING: NC-17 overall
SPOILERS: Season 6 through “As You Were”.
DISCLAIMER: All hail Joss Whedon, UPN, the WB, FOX, Mutant Enemy and 20th
Century Fox Film Corporation. GO team! Theirs, not mine.
DISTRIBUTION: Please ask my permission first, just so I know where it’s
FEEDBACK: Sure, fire away to firstname.lastname@example.org
We walked into the Magic Shop, and were immediately swept into a maelstrom.
Giles was clutching a bloodstained cloth to the back of his head as he
argued furiously with Xander. Buffy was between them, trying to reason with
them both, but they were totally lost in their yelling match. I didn’t
catch what started it, but Xander threw a punch, accidentally knocking down
Buffy and smashing Giles in the jaw. He tossed his bandage aside and lunged
at the younger man, grappling with him until they both smashed into a
bookcase, sending a cascade of texts to the floor.
“Stop it, stop it,” said a horrified Dawn, who stood in the corner with
Richard. Giles grabbed Xander by the throat and slammed his head into the
wall as Xander kicked him hard in the shin.
“Separate,” said Willow. The two men flew apart, landing on opposite sides
of the store.
“I like that trick much better when I’m not on the receiving end of it,
love,” I told her.
“You’re using magic again,” yelled Xander, advancing on Willow. “I knew
Spike was wrong. I knew getting you back into Wicca would be a mistake.”
“Don’t attack me,” Willow said adamantly. “I’m sure you’re upset about
Anya, but you have no right taking it out on me, or on Giles.”
“It’s Giles’ fault that Anya’s gone,” said Xander. “He was here, he should
have protected her.”
“And you should have been here,” countered Giles. “You should have been
here to walk her home. She told me that you don’t even bother, that you
don’t have the time. How could you let her walk through Sunnydale alone at
They started screaming again, walking back towards each other. “Hold up,”
yelled Buffy. “Just shut up.” They continued to argue, and Buffy and Willow
exchanged a look. Red whispered under her breath and the room became quiet,
their mouths working but no sound coming out. They stopped and turned to
look at her.
“Even if you’d both been here,” said Willow, “they still would have taken
Anya. Even the two of you together wouldn’t have been able to stop a Fyarl
demon. Much less a pair of them.”
“How do you know it was Fyarl demons?” asked Buffy.
“Two of them tried to kidnap Willow the other night,” I explained. “They
shot her up with cardiolis.”
“Why didn’t you tell us about it?” said Buffy.
“We thought it was just some demons trying to shake me down,” I said. “It
didn’t occur to me it had anything to do with the Scoobies.”
Xander stepped forward and asked a question, his mouth moving silently.
Willow waved her hand. “-check out the demon haunts?” he finished.
“Yeah, definitely,” said Buffy. “Spike and I will go see what we can find
“And I’ll call Clem, get him to head out with me,” said Xander. “We’ll be
able to cover more ground that way.” He headed for the telephone.
“And Giles and Willow can stay here and do research,” said Buffy.
“No,” said Giles abruptly. “I know what a Fyarl demon looks like. I was
one. I’m not sitting around the shop twiddling my thumbs.” He turned away
and began to replace the books in the shelf that had toppled over, his
hands shaking slightly.
“We can analyze the syringe, see if we can trace the source,” said Willow.
“And we have the other one back at the house to compare it to.”
“Good plan,” said Buffy. “Spike, come with me.”
Willow turned to me. “Do you mind if I take your car?”
I kissed her forehead. “Fine by me, love,” I told her. “Be careful.” I
“Wait,” she said. “You should change your clothes. I don’t want you to mess
up your suit.”
“I’ve got some stuff in the trunk,” I told her. I turned to Buffy. “I’ll be
back in a minute.” She nodded and turned back, talking to Richard.
Willow and I walked outside to my car. I opened up the trunk and sorted
through it, finding a crumpled shirt and a pair of jeans. I sat down on the
curb and untied my dress shoes. I undid my belt and took off my suit pants,
handing them to Willow. “Aren’t you afraid that someone will see you?” she
asked with a smile, as I slid my jeans up my bare legs.
I buttoned up the fly and turned to her. “I’ve found people in this town
turn a blind eye to pretty much anything out of the ordinary.”
I handed her my suit jacket and unbuttoned my shirt, tossing it in the
trunk. I slid the t-shirt on over my head. I sat back down and put my shoes
on. “I hope I don’t have to do any running tonight in these sodding dress
shoes,” I told her. “And I’m really regretting not wearing my duster.” I
stood up and took the clothes from her, setting the suit down carefully in
the back seat. I took the ring box out of the pocket of my pants and
handed it to her. “You’d better keep hold of this,” I said softly.
“Wouldn’t want it to get misplaced.”
She cracked it open and looked inside. She looked at me, her expression
conflicted. “I said no, Spike,” she said. “So why did you buy a ring
“You said not now,” I corrected her. “Not the same as no. Not now implies
“You’re arguing semantics,” she replied.
“I’m notorious for having my big plans fall apart,” I said. “I’m not about
to let it happen this time. Got the ring, got the girl, just waiting for
the right moment.” I grabbed her and nuzzled her neck, making her laugh.
“So I’m part of a big Spike plan?” she asked, cupping her hand around the
back of my hand and gently kissing my lips.
“The only plan that I care about now,” I told her, as I claimed her mouth.
She moaned softly as I put my hands on her waist and pulled her into me, so
our bodies were pressed together. We were interrupted by Xander walking
out of the shop. Giles followed behind, his expression grim. “Clem’s
meeting us at Spike’s in fifteen minutes,” Xander said. “We’re going to
check out the tunnels.”
She kissed me quickly on the lips. “I love you,” she said in my ear. “Be
careful.” I watched her drive away, and went back into the shop.
Buffy was pacing impatiently. “Let’s get going,” she said. I followed her
out the back door through the alley.
“Where’s the niblet?” I asked her.
“Richard’s taking her back to his house,” she said. “He’ll take care of
“I’m glad that he’s around to be there for you and Dawn,” I told her. “He’s
a good guy.”
“Well, I was hoping that Giles would get to know him a little tonight over
dinner,” she said. She gestured to her pink dress and high heels. “But
obviously Chez Francois is out.”
“You look very pretty,” I told her. She smiled at me.
“And I feel guilty for even complaining about my dinner plans when Anya is
missing,” she said.
“We’ll find her,” I said. “What was the row all about, with Xander and
Giles getting all physical?”
She shook her head. “Giles was really furious with Xander. I don’t know
why. It’s not his fault that this happened.”
“He’s in a bit of a mood,” I told her. “I figured he’d blow his stack over
Willow and I, but he didn’t even say anything. Broody Giles is a new one on
We walked into her house and she headed for the weapons chest. “Don’t go
for anything too noticeable,” I told her. “No one is going to be very
forthcoming if you shove a crossbow in their chest.”
“It’s worked well for me in the past,” said Buffy, picking one up and
driving a bolt home.
I was following Buffy down an alley when I heard Willow’s voice in my head.
“Hey baby,” I said. Buffy turned and gave me a dirty look. “Not hey baby
you, hey baby Willow,” I explained. “In my head.”
*Hi Buffy,* said Willow.
Buffy startled. “Jesus!” She cried out.
“Little odd, isn’t it?” I asked her. “Took some time for the rest of us to
get used to it.”
*Clem wants you to meet him at the Old Brogue,* said Willow.
“How do you know?” asked Buffy. “What did you do, read his mind?”
*No, he called, * said Willow. *You know, on the phone.*
We changed direction and headed back down to the docks. “Hopefully Clem’s
got a good lead,” said Buffy. “The longer we go without finding Anya the
more worried I get.”
“Clem’s got different contacts that I do,” I said. “The supernaturals are
comfortable working with him. They’re not crazy about vampires.”
“Who are the supernaturals?” asked Buffy.
“Trolls, fairies, elves, leprechauns,” I explained. “The folk and fable
“Like Olaf?” she said.
“Well, yeah. But he was turned into a troll, not born one. The
supernaturals keep to themselves. They don’t come looking for action.”
“I don’t think I’ve run into any of them before,” she said.
“Well, you’re going to meet a whole lot of them now,” I said.
I knocked on the door of The Old Brogue. A porthole opened up and an eye
peered through the hole. “Clem sent us,” I told him. The door swung open
and we walked in. It was an Irish bar, with Guinness banners on the wall
and maps of Ireland. A folksinger sat on an elevated stage, boisterously
singing “Black Velvet Band.” The patrons sang along, merrily drinking big
tankards of beer. “Looks pretty normal to me,” said Buffy. “I don’t think
we’re in the right place.”
A good looking man walked over. “Hey guys,” he said happily. “Willow got in
touch with you pretty quickly.”
“Clem?” said Buffy warily.
“Oh, right, the glamour.” He went over to the bar and came back with a
small glass jar. “I’ll just put a bit of ointment on your eyes and then you
can see,” he said.
I closed my eyes and a cool sensation covered my lid. I opened my eyes. The
bar was filled with fairies, trolls, and other creatures. I opened my eyes
and saw Clem putting the ointment on Buffy’s lids. She opened her eyes and
did a double taking, looking all around.
“Xander’s talking to a fairy in the back,” he said. We followed him through
the crowd, turning into a smaller room that was filled with small tables.
Xander sat at one, talking to a translucent blue figure. An elf sat on the
other side of him, munching on a handful of pretzels. We walked over and
“This is Thyla,” said Xander. We all introduced ourselves to the fairy.
“And this is Euan,” he said, indicating the elf.
“I heard something that might help you,” she said. “I’m not sure that it
“Anything that you have to share would be a big help,” I told her.
“A friend of mine works at a bar here in town,” she said. “She says that
she’s been seeing Fyarl demons coming and going lately.” She took a sip of
“What’s the name of the bar?” I asked her. A waitress came by and put a
beer in front of Xander. He drank deeply, tilting back the large mug until
it was empty.
“Diamond Bar,” Thyla replied. “It’s close by the Bronze.”
Clem turned to the elf. “Tell them what you told me,” he said.
“I’m an apothecary,” said the elf. “I had a robbery the other night. It
was a Fyarl demon and two manticores. They stole my entire stock of
Abruptly, Xander leaned over and grabbed Thyla, pulling her into a deep,
intimate kiss. She stiffened and then settled into it, wrapping her arm
around his neck. Her wings fluttered back and forth, creating a breeze.
“Xander!” exclaimed Buffy, horrified. “What are you doing?”
He broke the kiss and turned to Buffy. “I love this girl. I want to stay
here with her forever.” His face was lit with happiness, his smile wide.
“What about Anya?” Buffy hissed. “Remember her? Your missing fiancée?”
“She is but a paltry mortal,” he responded, his eyes fixed once more on
Thyla. He gently caressed a lock of her hair. “Faerie is where I belong.
Where I can love, and dance, and feast for all eternity.”
Thyla gave him a delicate peck on the lips. She turned to us reluctantly.
“It’s the beer,” she said wistfully. “It makes them crave the touch of a
fairy.” She smiled at Xander warmly. “Not that I really mind.”
They leaned toward each other again, eyes locked, and Clem grabbed Xander
by the collar. “I need to talk to Darby,” said Clem. “He’ll know how to
get a hold of some other manticores.” He held tightly to Xander as the
smaller man tried to break the hold.
“And I speak Fyarl, so the Slayer and I will scout them out,” I said.
“I’ll take Xander home before he does something even more stupid,” said
Clem. He cuffed Xander hard in the head and flung his unconscious body over
his shoulder, walking out of the room.
“Let’s roll,” said Buffy.
We walked into the Diamond Bar. “Just try to chill out and let me handle
this,” I asked her. “I know it’s contrary to your nature, but it’s worth a
The place was crowded, and a blue fairy flew back and forth behind the bar,
busily pouring drinks. I spotted a Fyarl demon hunched over a barstool and
sidled over to him. “Hey mate,” I said in Fyarl. “I’ve got a bit of a
proposition for you.”
He swiped at me with his free hand. “Go away,” he grunted, swigging his
“Anyone been asking around for a few Fyarls to do a bit of business for
He turned and looked at me. “Maybe.”
I slipped him a few bills. “Care to enlighten me a bit?”
He chugged his beer. “Giant wants find girl,” said the demon. “Thinks girls
know where is.”
I turned to Buffy. “Some giant’s trying to find a girl,” I told her.
“What does that have to do with Anya?” she asked. “Or Willow?”
“I don’t know,” I told her. “But there aren’t that many giants in
Sunnydale. It should be fairly easy to narrow it down.” I turned back to
the Fyarl demon. “Do you know where the giant is?” I asked him.
He shook his head. “Giant sent bone boy.”
“Bone boy?” I repeated.
“Giant sent bone boy,” he confirmed.
“Giant sent bone boy,” I told Buffy.
“What does that mean?” she asked.
“Hell if I know,” I told her. “Let’s go ask some giants.”
We rang the bell at the door of the warehouse. “Come on in,” said a
rumbling voice. We opened up the door and walked into the cavernous space.
Curls of wood and sawdust were swept into tidy piles on the floor. In the
middle of the room, a huge figure worked carefully, chiseling the surface
of an immense wooden sculpture.
“Hey, Harvey,” I said. “How’s it going?”
He put down his chisel and leaned over. “Hey Spike,” he said.
“Congratulations on the new house.”
“How’d you hear about that?” I asked.
“Clem told me,” he said. “I made you a little present.” He picked up an
ornately carved sculpture with the tips of his fingers and handed it to me.
It was about the size of my forearm, all sweeping angles and curves. “This
is a nice piece, Harvey,” I said. “Thanks. I’ll have to bring it home
another time though. Need to keep my hands free.” He took it back from me
and set it carefully on a tall shelf.
“So what can I do for you?” he asked. “I’m guessing it’s not a social call,
since you’ve brought the Slayer with you.”
He looked at Buffy. “Pleasure to meet you, Miss Slayer,” he said.
“Just Buffy,” she said. They shook hands, Buffy’s small one the size of one
of his fingernails.
“We’ve got a friend who’s gone missing,” I told him. “Apparently a giant
had something to do with it.”
He looked at me thoughtfully. “Not a timber giant,” he said firmly. “We’re
pacifists. We don’t have any interest in stirring up trouble.”
“No, I know it’s not your kind of gig,” I told him. “But you know more
giants than I do. Apparently this one’s got someone working for him, goes
by bone boy or looks like he’s made of bone. My source wasn’t the most
verbal fellow on the block.”
“Hiram’s got a new hired gun, looks like a skeleton,” he said. “And I’m
hearing that he’s got a bug up his ass. Something about finding a
We pulled up in front of the club and I rang the bell. A red horned face
poked out the door. A dagger flew through the air and landed in the middle
of his forehead with a meaty thunk, and he fell down.
“Not feeling chatty tonight, are you Slayer?” I asked her.
“Definitely feeling a bit testy,” she said. “I was looking forward to
having a little chocolate mousse or a napoleon about now.”
“Don’t get between a girl and her chocolate,” I commented as we stepped
inside the club.
Two manticores came out from the door that led to the back office and Buffy
dispatched them both, one with a throwing star to the neck and the other
with a knife through the heart. “Are you going to let me get a little
action here?” I asked her.
“I’m in the moment,” she said.
We walked through the doors to the back office. The first thing I heard was
Anya screaming. Buffy and I looked at each other and took off at a run. We
went through the door of the back office. It was empty, but there was a
hidden door that was ajar. Anya screamed again, a horrifying noise that
ended in a weak gurgling. We passed through the hidden door.
Anya was strapped to a table, and Hiram was bent over her. He made a
shoving gesture with his arm, and she made a faint noise. Buffy took off
her crossbow and shot him in the back. He turned around. His hand had
morphed into a cluster of thin icicles, each one tipped with her blood.
“What the fuck are you doing, Hiram?” I asked him. “You’ve lost your mind.”
“No,” he said. “I’m seizing an opportunity.” He snapped the arrow out of
his back, seemingly unfazed.
“Whatever your bright idea was,” Buffy said angrily, “It’s going to be the
last one you’ll ever have.” She advanced on him, pulling a butane torch out
of her coat and setting him afire. He waved his arms, the fire quickly
burning out on his frozen body.
“It’ll take more than that to kill me,” he said. He turned around and
thrust his hand into Anya, and she screamed again. I tackled him, pulling
his arm away. We fell to the floor, and he slammed me in the face with his
head, leaving me dizzy.
“Roll, Spike!” Buffy yelled. I rolled to the side, and she blasted him with
a flamethrower. He screamed, and his head and body began to melt. He hurled
himself through a door in the wall, and it closed behind him. I ran to the
door and scrabbled to find the opening, to follow him. “God, Spike, help
me,” Buffy said brokenly.
I turned to her. Anya was naked, pale and bleeding. The bones of her face
were shattered, and she was barely recognizable. Her body was covered with
small holes, and she lay in a puddle of blood. Thick trails of blood
coursed down her thighs, trailing down to her feet. “She’s dying, Buffy,” I
told her. “She’s fading.”
I picked up the phone and dialed. “Hello?” said Willow.
“I need you here with me, now,” I told her. “Just do it, Red.”
I put the phone down, and I felt her presence in my mind, tracking me,
placing me. I heard a great pop, and she appeared before me, clutching her
head. “Ouch,” she said, falling to her knees and retching. “Oh, that made
me so nauseous.”
I pulled her up. “Anya’s dying,” I said. “If we take her to the hospital,
she won’t make it in time. You have to fix her.”
“I don’t think I can,” she said. “I don’t think I have the energy.” She
looked at me. “I could use you, tap into you like a battery.”
I heard the sound of Anya’s heartbeat winding down, slowing. “Do it now,” I
said, “or she’ll die.” She took my hands in hers. “I love you,” she said,
looking at me deeply.
“I love you too,” I told her, and then I was sucked into a vortex of
blackness and pain.
“Spike?” said Buffy. I opened my eyes and I was lying in my bed. “Oh, there
“Where’s Willow?” I asked her, struggling to sit up. “How is Anya?”
“Willow’s still out,” she said. “Anya’s fine.”
“Tara,” I said. “We have to find Tara. That’s what Hiram was after, finding
out where she was.”
“Anya told us where she went,” she said. “Richard is going to get her, to
bring her back.”
“She shouldn’t come back here,” I said. “It’s too dangerous.”
“It’s more dangerous to have her out there with no one to defend her,” she
said. “Here we can protect her.”
“She was trying to get away from me,” I told her. “She left so that she
could be free of her demon.”
“Well, it doesn’t look like there’s any getting around it,” she said.
“Giles said succubae are rare and valuable demons. They’re shape shifters,
and they can tap into any man’s fantasies and fulfill them. They’ve been
captured and sold as sex slaves for centuries.”
“That’s bloody terrific,” I said, putting my head in my hands. “I handed
her to Hiram on a silver platter. God, I’m an idiot.”
“What do you mean?” asked Buffy.
“I took her to him,” I told her. “I took her to him to get a job at his
club. He’s the one who told me she was a succubus. That’s how the whole
thing got started in the first place.”
“You were going to help Tara get a job as a stripper?” said Buffy, aghast.
“Oh, please don’t get on your moralistic high horse, Slayer,” I said. “I
feel horribly guilty right now, you don’t need to rub salt in the wound.” I
stood up. “Where is Willow?” I asked her.
“She’s at my house, with Giles,” she said.
“Why isn’t she here with me?” I asked.
She looked uncomfortable. “Giles thought it would be best if you stayed
away from Willow.”
“Who the fuck does he think he is?” I asked her, getting up.
She stood up and blocked my way. “Willow wiped Anya’s mind, Spike,” she
said. “She doesn’t remember anything after Hiram hit her the first time.”
“Good,” I said. “The girl is getting married in three days time. It’s best
if she doesn’t remember being raped, tortured and beaten, don’t you think?
How long do you think it would take her to get past that?”
“Willow had no right to do that to her, Spike,” said Buffy. “She had no
right to manipulate her memory that way. It’s not natural.”
“It was a kindness, Buffy,” I said to her. “If you can’t understand that,
you really are barely human.” I tried to step around her and she stepped in
front of me.
“Willow was doing better, Spike,” said Buffy. “And now she’s using magic as
much as before, and making the same mistakes.”
“And you all blame me?” I said. “The evil vampire is leading the innocent
down the path of wickedness, is that right?” She looked straight in my
face. “If not for Willow, Anya would be dead. You know that better than
“I’m not arguing that-“ she said.
“So it’s okay to save her life, or your life, for that matter, but not to
purge Anya of a horrifying experience that will scar her for life? Who the
hell do you think you all are? Choosing at whim what’s acceptable and
what’s not? She’s not your pet, to be used when you see fit.”
“You don’t get it,” she said. “You can’t comprehend-“
“She has been blessed with amazing gifts that we can’t begin to
understand,” I told her. “Her magick is as much of a gift as yours, Slayer.
Could you stop being the Slayer? Would that be more natural, to deny who
you are? What you are?” I walked around her, and she followed behind me.
The garage door opened and in walked Willow with Giles close behind.
“Spike!” She ran into my arms, and I picked her up and spun her around. She
wrapped her arms around my neck and held on tight. I ran my hands over her
back, through her hair, relishing her presence.
“Are you okay, sweetheart?” I asked her worriedly. She looked pale and
“Big headache and a bad nosebleed,” she said. “I just want you to take me
to bed,” she said softly. I lifted up her legs and cradled her in my arms.
Buffy and Giles stood together, watching us. “Either of you got a problem
with me, or a problem with her, get the fuck out of our house and don’t
come back,” I told them. I turned my back on them and took her down the
hall. “What can I do for you, baby?” I asked her. I helped her out of her
dress and into a soft flannel nightgown from her drawer, and tucked her
“I want some water and some aspirin,” she said. “And maybe you could rub my
back. Tara used to rub my back when I felt like this and it made me feel
better.” She seemed so tired, and I could tell she was in agony.
“I’ll be right back, kitten,” I said as I kissed the tip of her nose. I
walked down the hall to the kitchen. Giles and Buffy sat at the table,
talking softly. I ignored them and pulled a bottle of water out of the
refrigerator, and filled a tall plastic cup with ice. I rummaged through
the drawers, finding the bendy straws Tara had bought.
“Spike,” said Giles.
“I have to take care of Willow now,” I said without looking up. “You want
to fight, we can do it when she’s not wracked with pain, waiting for me to
come back with some pills.” I pulled down a huge bottle of Tylenol, which
sat in the cupboard next to the vitamins and herbs Tara had picked out.
“I just wanted to say that I’m sorry,” he said. I turned to look at him. “I
think that I misjudged you,” he said. “I don’t think that you are using
Willow. I think you really do love her, even without a soul.” Buffy looked
at me, her eyes shadowed.
“Glad that I finally met your approval,” I said. “So glad that you could
figure out that maybe everything in your books isn’t written in stone,
“She asked for you, as soon as she woke,” he said. “All she wanted was to
come home to you. That’s what she said, that she wanted to go home.” I
walked away, and went back to Willow. She rested on the bed, her hands
pressed to her head.
“Baby, are you okay?” She tried to sit up and smile, but she cried out and
blood began to pour from her nose. I grabbed a T-shirt from the drawer
and sat down, tilting her head back and trying to staunch the flow. It
continued to pour, seemingly without end. She made a weak noise and her
eyes fluttered shut. “Willow!” I said, frightened.
She opened her eyes a bit and looked up at me. “I’m so tired,” she
“You rest, love,” I told her. “I’ll be right here.”
“You won’t leave me?” she said. “You won’t let me go?”
“I’ll never let you go,” I promised her. Reassured, she fell asleep. I
cleaned off the blood from her face and neck, and leaned her head back
against the pillow. She was so pale, her face nearly as white as the
sheets. I turned off the lights and slipped into bed beside her, gently
resting my arm around her waist.
I woke in the middle of the night, being kicked and punched by flailing
limbs. Willow was having a seizure. I backed away and carefully turned her
on her side so she wouldn’t choke. She arched several times more, and then
lay still. I heard her faintly begin to cry. I turned on the light. Her
face and pillow were covered with blood. She must have had another
nosebleed during the night. “It’s okay, Will,” I said to her soothingly.
“You’re alright.” She held out her arms and I pulled her to me, rocking her
as I smoothed her hair. She was shaking, absolutely electric with fear, and
her nightgown was soaked through with sweat. She held onto me desperately
as she cried. Soon she stilled.
“Let’s get you cleaned up, love,” I told her. I helped her out of her
nightgown and lay her down on my pillow. I took off her soiled pillowcase
and put on a fresh one. In the bathroom, I moistened several washcloths and
brought them back to her. I cleaned off her face and body, and she
shivered. I put a clean nightgown on her, and settled us back into bed. I
shook out some pills and helped her to swallow them, holding the glass of
water for her. She drank the water, greedily, and I poured her another
glass. She drank it down and then collapsed against me.
“I’m dying,” she said faintly. “I can feel death crawling over me,
burrowing beneath my skin.”
A chill ran through me. “Let’s go to the hospital,” I said. “Let’s get you
to a doctor.”
“It’s magick,” she said. “I have to pay the price. There’s nothing they
could do to save me.”
“I won’t let you,” I told her. “I won’t lose you.”
“Don’t let me die,” she said, and fell back asleep. I listened to her
heartbeat, wondering if I would have to turn her, to keep her by my side.
I woke up in the morning and looked over at Willow. She had good color, her
breathing normal, her heartbeat strong. I kissed her cheek and she smiled
in her sleep. “Spike,” she said sleepily.
“You got him,” I told her, smiling at her as she opened her eyes.
She rolled over and we embraced each other tightly. I kissed her hair, and
lifted her chin and kissed her mouth. “You terrified me,” I told her
quietly. “Seeing you like that, in so much pain.”
“It wasn’t really fun for me either,” she said. “It feels like every time
it gets worse. The more powerful the magick, the bigger the price.”
“This was all my fault,” I told her, clenching my hands around her
shoulders. “I asked you to save Anya. There’s always consequences for
magick. I knew that.”
“You couldn’t have just let Anya die,” she said. “If you hadn’t called me,
she wouldn’t have survived.”
I knew it was true. “But what you went through last night. I was afraid
that I was going to lose you. I couldn’t bear it.”
“I didn’t want to leave you,” she said. “That was the worst part. I’ve
wanted to be with you so long, and we’ve barely begun.” We kissed gently,
and she pulled away. She held my eyes for a long moment. “Can you bring me
my bag?” she asked. I brought it to her, and she rummaged through the
contents, finally pulling out the ring box.
She handed it to me and looked at me with her wide green eyes. “Will you be
mine?” I asked her solemnly. “Will you marry me?”
“Yes,” she said seriously.
My heart leapt. I pulled out the ring from the box, and I dropped it. It
slipped into the sheets, and we both searched for it for a minute before I
held it up triumphantly. I laughed, and she laughed, and I slipped the ring
on her finger. She looked down at it. “That is one gaudy, ostentatious
rock,” she said with a smile.
“You don’t like it?” I asked, concerned.
“I love it,” she said. “Call me material girl. Diamonds are a girl’s best
“When can we get married?” I asked her. “I want to make you mine, the
sooner the better.”
“I’m already yours,” she said seriously. “But we can do a handfasting, as
soon as you like.”
“Now,” I said.
“Right here? In bed?”
“Now. I don’t want to wait any longer.”
She unbelted my robe and slid it off, and then pulled off her gown. We
faced each other, nude, and held hands. “Within the boundaries of this room
we form a sacred space,” chanted Willow. “By the bones of the earth, by the
currents of air, by the flame of the fire, by the waves of the water, by
the spirit that surrounds us, the circle is cast. So mote it be.” I felt
the rush of power run through me. Willow smiled at me and I smiled back.
“Lady, we invoke thee,” she intoned. “Give to us your abiding love and
unconditional protection.” I felt a presence surrounding me and Willow. We
linked our arms together, clasping hands.
“With all I am, with all I have, I pledge myself to you. For a year and a
day, we are as one,” she intoned.
“With all I am, with all I have, I pledge myself to you. For a year and a
day, we are as one,” I repeated.
“So mote it be,” she said. We leaned in to each other, meeting in a warm
embrace. She pulled away and smiled. “And now I’m yours,” she said softly,
her eyes full of love. ”And you are mine.”
“Mine,” I said, hearing the truth in it. “I need you so badly, Willow, in
every way. But you’re still weak-” She closed her mouth around my nipple
and moved over me. “Oh, my love,” I sighed, pulling her mouth up to meet
mine. Her hands moved on my length, stroking me until I was hard. We locked
together, joining our bodies.
“I love you,” she whispered. “I never want to let you go.” She moved up and
down on me, slow and easy. She felt so warm and slick around me, her tongue
moving in my mouth, her breasts sliding over my chest. I came, holding her
waist tightly. “Please, please,” she cried out, pulling away from my mouth.
“Please.” I rubbed her clit lightly with my thumb as I increased the pace.
I was afraid to hurt her, afraid to be to rough with her. I picked up the
pace slightly, and she started her release. She held tight to my shoulders
as she came, her breath catching loudly as she shuddered.
I went to the kitchen to get Willow some more pills. Giles and Anya sat at
the table, looking over some papers. “How are you feeling?” I asked Anya.
She looked radiantly beautiful, seemingly untouched by her ordeal.
She smiled at me. “A little tired,” she said. “And a little freaked out.
I’m trying not to think about it too much.”
“We need to talk to you,” said Giles.
I heard a key turn in the front door and footsteps walking down the hall. A
figure appeared in the doorway. It was Tara. We stared at each other for a
long moment. “Why are you here?” I asked her. She had dyed her hair a
bluish black, and it was jarring against her pale face.
“Richard came to get me,” she began. “Then Buffy told me-“
“Why are you in my home?” I asked, as I poured a large glass of orange
juice and put a banana and a cup of yogurt on a tray. “You don’t live here
anymore. I’d appreciate you leaving your key on the table.”
“I came to see Willow,” she said. “I wanted to make sure she’s okay.”
“She’s fine,” I said. “Now you can go.” I picked up the tray and turned to
She moved around me and looked up at me, her eyes shining clear blue. “I’m
sorry that I hurt you,” she began, and reached out to touch my arm. I
jerked away from her, spilling the juice. I turned back to the counter and
cleaned up the tray, pouring a new glass of juice. I turned around to see
her standing behind me. I sidestepped her and walked out of the room.
I went back into the bedroom. Willow was dressed in a sweat suit, leaning
back against the headboard with a throw over her feet. She was waving her
hand in the air, admiring her ring. She saw me and smiled. “Breakfast in
bed,” she said happily. “What’s wrong?” she asked, taking in my expression.
I set down the tray on the bed next to her.
“Tara is here to see you,” I told her.
She looked sick. “Tara is here? Now?” She twisted the ring on her finger.
“She’s in the kitchen. She was worried about you, and she’d like to see
you. Do you want me to let her in?”
She looked down and her eyes filled with tears. “I can’t believe that she
came back, now,” she said softly. She looked up at me. “You must be kicking
yourself,” she said. “If you’d known-“
“It wouldn’t have changed anything,” I told her, taking her hand in mine.
“Whatever Tara and I had, it ended the second she left. There’s no going
back. That’s not what I want, Willow.”
She looked at me searchingly. “It doesn’t change how you feel about me,
about us?” she asked.
“No,” I told her. “I love you, I do. I’m in love with you.” I kissed her,
hoping that I had reassured her. She was still so frail, the last thing she
needed was more stress. She needed rest, and peace. “Shall I ask her to
She was quiet for a moment. “I think I should talk to her. Would that
“Yes,” I told her honestly. “But I’ll get over it. The two of you, you mean
something to each other. I have no right to tell you not to see her.”
“But you wish she wasn’t here?” she asked.
“I wish I never had to see her again,” I told her.
“Ask her to come back here,” she said. She kissed me gently.
“You need your rest,” I told her. “Don’t let her stay too long.”
I walked out to the kitchen. Tara turned to look at me. “She’ll see you,” I
“We need to talk,” she said, “You and I.”
“I have nothing to say to you,” I told her. “You said everything that I
needed to hear in your note. I don’t care about anything else you have to
“You can’t just shut me out,” she said adamantly. “We-“
“I married Willow,” I told her bluntly. “We’re handfasted. Whatever we were
or had, it’s irrelevant now. Move on.”
She reeled back as if I had slapped her. “You can go talk to my wife,” I
said to her. “Because she loves you and she wants you here. I don’t share
her feelings, either way.” She looked at me, and turned away.
I turned to look at Giles and Anya. “Questions? Comments?” I asked, my
Giles stared into my eyes, his brow furrowed. “Actually, I have a business
proposition for you,” he said.
I sat down at the table. “What kind of proposition?” she said.
“I’ve decided that it’s best if I no longer have any ties to Sunnydale,”
said Giles calmly. “I’m selling my share of the Magic Box. I would like to
offer it to you.”
I was shocked. “Why me?”
He looked at me closely. “You have the capital, as I understand,” he said.
“You certainly have the time.“ He paused. “And if you have a wife to take
care of, you should be thinking of the future.”
Anya looked upset. “I don’t understand why you need to do this, Giles,” she
said. “Everything was fine yesterday and now today you can’t wait to
“I have unexpected business back in England,” he said, looking away. “I
want to leave this evening. I need to get any loose ends wrapped up before
“But you were going to give me away,” she said, upset. She put her hand on
his arm. “Can’t whatever it is wait?” she said plaintively. “I really want
you to be there for me on my wedding day.”
He looked at her, his expression blank. “I’m sorry,” he said. “There are
certain things in life one can’t change.” He shuffled through some papers.
“No matter how much one might wish to.”
“If Willow wants me to, I’ll buy your share of the shop,” I told him. “Red
might fancy having part of the place to herself.”
“But I don’t want to run the store with Willow,” said Anya. “I just want
your money and you to stay out of my way.”
“I’m not the silent type, pet,” I told her. “You want my money, I get a say
in things as well.”
“Could you give me the money today?” asked Giles.
“We could do it now,” I said. “Let me just ask Willow what she thinks of
all this.” I walked back down the hall and knocked on the open bedroom
door. The two women sat close on the bed, talking in low tones.
“Sorry to interrupt, pet,” I said. Willow looked up at me with a smile.
“Want to own half of the Magic Box?”
“Could I boss around Anya?” she said with a chuckle.
“You and I against demon girl and the whelp,” I said. “I’m pretty sure we’d
come out on top.”
She looked thoughtful. “I have a lot of ideas,” she said. “It would be
really cool, actually, to own the shop.”
“I’ll go cut Giles a great big check then,” I said. “Will you be all right,
for a half hour or so? I’m just going to sign some papers and go to the
“Tara will keep me company,” she said. I looked at the two witches, the one
that I loved and one I had lost, and left.
Continued in Chapter 15
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